Sack, Friars of the

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A mendicant order (ordo penitencie Jesu Christi ) first established on the hill of Fenouillet, outside Hyères, in Provence, approved by innocent iv in 1251, and confirmed by alexander iv in 1255. There were 13 convents by 1251, and by 1274 the number was well over 100almost half of them in France, but several in Italy and the British Isles, and a few in Spain, Germany, and the Low Countries. This was the most important order forbidden to receive novices and new sites after the Second Council of Lyons in 1274; it disappeared rather quickly thereafter; the last trace was found in Marseilles in 1316. According to salimbene, the order was founded under Franciscan inspiration; but its constitutions are distinctly Dominican in form. It was a typical mendicant group, clearly enjoying much popularity during its short existence. By 1274 the order was organized into seven provinces: Provence, France, Spain, Italy, England, Germany, and the Holy Land. There seems no evidence for the existence of a second order of nuns attached to the order. Most of its sites passed to other orders after 1274, sometimes with surviving Sack Friars included in the transfer.

Bibliography: a. g. little, "The Friars of the Sack," English Historical Review 9 (1894) 121127. r. w. emery, "The Friar of the Sack," Speculum 18 (1943) 323334; 35 (1960) 591595. i. burns, "The Friars of the Sack in Valencia," ibid., 36 (1961) 435438. g. giacomozzi, L'Ordine della Penitenza di Gesu Cristo (Rome 1962); on which, cf. Speculum 37 (1962) 610.

[r. w. emery]